« Slow Recovery. | Main | Chilled. »

Paint By Numbers.

Carb management is a paint-by-numbers for me.I looked into the bottom of my purse and saw the Cliff bar and a pack of gum.  "46 grams of carbohydrate."

I poured a cup of coffee this morning and added a little cream and Equal.  As I stirred the contents of the cup and chatted with co-workers, I thought "0.2u of insulin for the 2 grams of carbohydrate."  I eye-balled the bagels being offered up and watched as one morphed into a whole-wheat "8" and another into a sesame-seed covered "0."  80 grams of carbs.

The kiwi fruit, sliced and captured in a tupperware container, looked ripe and grass-green through the plastic window.  It would be a delicious morning snack.  Ten grams of carbs.

Nineteen carbs in that yogurt, five grams in a fistful of almonds, fifteen in that slice of whole-grain toast.  Convert how many units of insulin that I need to cover X amount of carbs.  Base these values on previously calculated insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios.  Make sure you take recent and future activity levels into account, in addition to factoring in some cushion time for the insulin to work.

It's a lot of math for this intrinsic English major to handle.  If I keep my brain tuned into the numbers only, I'm admittedly rattled and overwhelmed. 

Instead, I picture the culinary world as one, big paint-by-numbers picture.  Carbohydrate content calls out a value and insulin is my paint.  Some days the portraits are just breath taking, a sea of yellows and blues and a smattering of greens, blending together and keeping my blood sugar numbers from spiraling out of range. 

It's tough to keep my hand steady some days, especially now with all the holiday treats on every countertop, but I'm doing my best to stay within the lines.


What a great analogy, I can seriously visualize this.
It's so crazy but I love the diabetes math, for me it's like a well oiled machine. I kind of hate the fact that my pump can do it for me.

What we need is a support group, DASH. Diabetics Against Snacking for Holidays.

Then every time we get the urge to snack we can call 1-800-HELP-DASH and have a volunteer talk us down.

That's what I need, right now.

You remind me of Bob Ross.


Did you ever see him on PBS? He was so calm and peacefully painted happy little trees in forest scenes using colors like burnt umber and yellow ochre.

He would've had a field day painting your meals.

Jillian - I'm glad you have a grasp on the math. My brain just isn't wired that way. But LOL at the idea of you being mad at your pump for doing it, too. :)

Bernard - You and me, both. This Operation: Willpower exercise is a tough one, indeed. A hotline would be fantastic!

Shannon - I LOVED BOB ROSS. Gary Larson actually did a Far Side cartoon of a man having been crushed by a pine tree that falls into his living room, with Bob Ross on the television, talking about "happy little trees." He was so serene. I think he may have been on xanax. Or maybe he was just that chill.

Either way, he had great hair. :)

Paint by number? My method is more Jackson Pollack. LOL!!!

interesting concept, I definatly need more of a
artsy right-brain approach to this horridly logical(left-brain) disease.

Thank Goodness I was a math minor...I like your analogy, since as a less than one-month diabetic, I feel like all I constantly think about is food--what to eat, how much to eat...maybe it will start to feel like a vivid painting for me soon, rather than just a nusiance.

I wonder if all this math will keep our brains sharp. Like doing crosswords for the elderly.

This is my favorite post of yours - ever. Paint by #s is exactly how I feel, just sometimes I feel like the #s I'm paiting are on a different page than the instructions.

That is a great analogy Kerri!

I SO hate math. HATE it. With a passion. You know why? Yep. Diabetes.

Now I have a complex about helping my son with his math homework...

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)